Man sues Harris County after crash involving deputy constable

Brooke Taylor Image
Friday, August 27, 2021
Lawsuit filed over crash involving Harris County deputy
A man is suing Harris County after a deputy constable allegedly ran a red light last month and slammed into his SUV, causing it to roll over. The lawsuit calls the deputy's actions "reckless." ABC13's Brooke Taylor spoke with the victim in the report above.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man is suing Harris County and a deputy constable for running a red light, and crashing into his SUV last month.

According to the lawsuit, filed by Emmerick "E.J." Jacob, the deputy's reckless actions and excessive speed are to blame for the collison.

"I was crossing the intersection and it was - boom," Jacob said. "I am flipping and fighting for my life."

Jacob said he can't stop replaying that moment in his head, when a Harris County Precinct 4 deputy slammed into his SUV, causing it to flip on its side. He said he suffered a punctured lung, among other injuries.

Jacob, a private chauffeur, said he was driving William P. Hobby Airport to pick up a friend after midnight on July 18. He said he was passing a green light at the intersection of Spears and Walters Road.

At the same time, the lawsuit claims Deputy Ronald Rainy barreled through a red light, driving up to 70 mph, crashing into Jacob. Jacob's attorney Ashish Mahendru claims the deputy did not slow down to clear the intersection.

"Slowing down and stopping to ensure that the red light the officer was crossing was safe to precede through," Mahendru said.

Surveillance footage from a nearby gas station shows the moment the deputy, seen with his emergency lights on, ran the red light.

"It's clear he ran the red light," Mahendru said. "When he's doing that, it's in disregard for EJ who was then hit at excessive speeds."

ABC13 reached out to Precinct 4 for comment on the lawsuit. Constable Mark Herman said Deputy Rainy was responding to a priority 1 call. According to Herman, Jacob is the one at fault, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.

Jacob's attorney, however, said they have submitted an open records request for dashcam footage, more information on the deputy's speed, and the call he was responding to. Mahendru claims he can't get any information.

"Where is the transparency and information? We are entitled to know what they have done to investigate their own, which we believe is a problem," Mahendru said.

ABC13 asked Constable Herman for information on the deputy's speed and the call he was responding to. We were told they would not be able to release that information because it's an ongoing investigation.